Mention “sisters” in Oregon, and you could be referring to three volcanic mountains or a town near Bend. At the time of that famous suffrage vote a hundred years ago, Sisters the town was well established. That’s what I found out last week when I stopped there after Blue Thread and I finished another leg of the Crazy Eights Author Tour. You couldn’t miss this sign.
It turns out that the building (now a restaurant and bar) was once Hotel Sisters. John Dennis (a veteran of the Spanish American War) had big plans for a luxury hotel when he built it in 1912. There were 19 guest rooms, each with hot and cold running water. A furnace in the basement sent hot air to heat every room. The elegant wooden bar was carved in Philadelphia and shipped to Sisters around Cape Horn. We are talking high style and lots of creature comforts for travelers in an area of Central Oregon where both were scarce at that time.
Sisters got its name from three nearby peaks, nicknamed by settlers as “Faith,” “Hope,” and “Charity.” Everyone agrees that Hope is the Middle Sister, elevation 10,047 ft. Is Faith the South Sister (elevation 10,358 ft) or the North Sister (elevation 10,085 ft.)? It depends on whom you ask. Anyone got the definitive answer?
Now, to complicate matters, there seems to be a fourth sister. She’s a bulge–in geologic terms an “uplift”–that was detected in 2001and appears to be growing slowly. A new volcano? We’ll see. Of course, I’m ready to name her “Prudence” in honor of Charity’s sister in Blue Thread.